Un naufragio personal

Ángel Ortega

OpenBSD in a laptop, part 3

And while I was deep diving into OpenBSD 6.6 [1, 2], OpenBSD 6.7 came to life.

I thought it was a great opportunity to learn how version upgrades work under OpenBSD. This is always a hairy process; a full-system upgrade has to take so many things into account, as every system is a unique one.

Of course, there is a detailed 6.7 upgrade guide. From it I learned that this used to be a complicated process (downloading a special kernel, boot from it...) but it's no longer: there is a tool aptly named sysupgrade that makes it much easier.

In the guide I was instructed to delete a user/group (that I didn't have) and to check for available disk space. Everything was fine so I ran the sysupgrade tool and it downloaded the new system, made me reboot into a special kernel, did many system-upgrade-y things, rebooted again and I found myself with a brand-new OpenBSD 6.7 system.

I still needed to manually execute syspatch (I remember a set of patches being mentioned in the previous step, I don't know why they weren't automatically installed) and of course pkg_add -u. I did this from a console because I didn't want unnecessary jump-scares from the GUI.

Summarizing: the 6.6->6.7 upgrade process is smooth, quick and without glitches nor surprises. Again, kudos to OpenBSD people, you are awesome.

Given that I don't plan to continue these post series, I finally decided to stop intentionally delaying the setup of the CUPS printing system, so I ran

pkg_add cups gtk+3-cups hpcups

My printer is an HP OfficeJet 6960 (connected by Ethernet to my local network), that's why I installed hpcups. I then needed to configure CUPS to run at system startup, so this is how my /etc/rc.conf.local ended up looking:

xenodm_flags=
multicast=YES
pkg_scripts="messagebus avahi_daemon cups_browsed cupsd"

I connected to the CUPS system web interface at localhost:631 with a browser and spent the usual huge amount of time finding the correct combination of connection type, printer model, small mammal sacrifice and PPD file until I found the one that worked (color do not look OK, though). Man do I hate CUPS. Concerning OpenBSD, this was not worse than in any other CUPS-infected system.

I also installed LibreFuckingOffice. Yes, I hate it too. I hate many, many things.

Regarding Bluetooth: I checked this laptop's specs and it does not have a Bluetooth chip, so I decided to buy a Bluetooth USB dongle, as they are cheap and capable these days. But then I learnt that OpenBSD does not support Bluetooth; it used to (at least partially), but because of lack of hardware drivers or security issues or whatever they dropped it. I think this is a mistake, but who am I to disagree. No Bluetooth headphones for Ángel in this machine, go listening to your crappy music somewhere else.

Anyway, my final opinion is that OpenBSD still fucking rocks. This great software project accepts and needs donations, so I did mine.